15 min read
Jul 29, 2020
Learning Management Systems

Learning Management System Comparison Made Easier With These Top 5 Options

Can’t decide which learning management system is right for you? Explore the top five solutions and find everything you need to know about them here.

R.B.
Rupal BhandariContent Writer

In a world where professionals and students are quickly adopting online learning, it can be tough for businesses and institutions to keep their learning initiatives catching up as regularly. 

For those online sessions that intend to do more than just bringing participants together to discuss agendas, organizations will have to think beyond relying on Cisco WebEx or Microsoft Teams. Engagement and personalization are what matter when it comes to modern-day learning over the internet. 

Without interactive elements, such as videos and audios, and a learning experience relevant to one’s skills and progress, L&D initiatives or course outcomes will fall short of their desired goals. 

Learning management systems (LMS) can help businesses and institutions leverage these two crucial traits. As a business, it can help you with the much-needed quality boost in your L&D initiatives. As an educational institution, it can form the center of your business, driving engagement with students as well as your unique selling points (USPs) and revenue.

However, if you are on the lookout for LMS software, it can get overwhelming. Our own database has more than 250 LMS vendor listings.

We’ve prepared this article to help you understand what to look for in an LMS solution and what the current top tools (based on our LMS Category Leaders, 2020) have to offer. 

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What is LMS software?

LMS software helps businesses or educational institutions administer, track, report, and automate the delivery of learning material. A typical LMS feature-set includes content library, content creation modules, and learning management with scheduling, alerts, and messages for users. The software also supports testing and assessment and performance tracking. 

For more details on LMS software, refer to our buyers guide.

Here are some ways an LMS solution can change how you approach L&D for employees or courses for students:

How LMS transforms learning
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Things to consider when exploring LMS solutions

Just knowing what LMS solutions do is not enough. It is also important to know what to watch out for when exploring them. 

Following are some points to consider:

Integrations

A comparison of the integrations offered by Lessonly and Arlo Training Software

Comparison of the integrations offered by Lessonly and Arlo Training Software (Source)

When making a learning management system comparison, it is a good idea to thoroughly evaluate the integrations provided by the vendor.

Check that the tool integrates with other tools you may already be using, such as human resources (HR) software or enterprise resources planning (ERP) software. This allows bringing the learning portal closer to peoples' everyday work life, as opposed to keeping it as a silo that can only be accessed when needed.

Pricing models

Comparison of the pricing between Intuto and eloomi

Comparison of the pricing between Intuto and eloomi (Source)

LMS solutions are typically available on per learner-per month, per learner-per use, per course, or one-time license pricing models. 

When making a learning management system comparison, you should evaluate each pricing model and its pros and cons. For educational institutions, per learner-per month or per learner-per use models could be more appropriate. Whereas for businesses, a pricing model that aligns with short- and long-term usage requirements could be more appropriate.

Security

Comparison of the security offerings between Easy LMS and iSpring Learn

Comparison of the security offerings between Easy LMS and iSpring Learn (Source)

Whether it is a business or an educational institution, security is an important element of LMS solutions since they store your data and learning material. It is also important to keep your users safe from unwanted access to their personal information. 

When making a learning management system comparison, check for the following security features:

  • Advanced password authentication to ensure that only authorized users have access to the L&D or course material.

  • Backup data storage to prevent losing your data in malware attacks or cyber accidents.

  • Data encryption to ensure that all your data is secure when in storage or when being transmitted from the server to the user and back.

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Top 5 LMS solutions compared

Looop, GoSkills, Tovuti, SkyPrep, and LearnUpon LMS are the top five LMS solutions in our LMS Category Leaders, 2020

The category leaders are selected by our team of researchers using thousands of ratings from real users to identify five key areas: ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend. You can review the detailed selection methodology here.

Here is a quick summary of their ratings, before jumping into the LMS comparison:

The top 5 LMS solutions

1. Looop

Looop is an LMS platform that takes an employee- or student-centric approach. The tool helps provide resources as per the user’s need and learning curve, as opposed to one-size-fits-all training materials. It also helps organize a plethora of training material and resources into a searchable database. 

Setting up a campaign in Looop

Setting up a campaign in Looop (Source)

Following are some of the tool’s highlights:

  • Discoverable workspaces that can be made visible to team members or students with a couple of clicks.

  • Group people in such a manner that they automatically receive the materials relevant to them.

  • Campaigns that auto-email relevant resources and reminders to users (in a set schedule) and track completion. 

  • Banners that can run on top of the user’s screen and draw attention to pending sessions or resources of importance.

Integrations:

The integration capabilities of Looop border on tech-heavy. The tool provides some built-in integrations such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Linkedin Learning. It provides other integrations via a custom application programming interface (API).

Pricing and use cases: All Looop packages offer unlimited content creation, quizzes and workbooks, reporting, and video and screencast uploads. They also offer customizable branding, flexible roles and permissions, cloud storage, and content backups. 

Plan Use case
$299/month Small businesses or educational institutions with up to 50 users.
$699/month Midsize businesses or educational institutions with up to 250 users.
$1,199/month Enterprises or large educational institutions with up to 500 users.
Custom pricing Enterprises or educational institutions with over 500 users.

Prominent customer reviews:

Reviewers of Looop on GetApp share the following feedback:

Pros Cons
The intuitive and user-friendly mobile app makes it easier for new users to learn the tool. The reporting feature provides an automated, continuous needs analysis to highlight individual as well as team L&D requirements. The ability to preview content for mobile devices is missing. Drag-and-drop functionality for reordering learning path or training workflow is also lacking.

Reviewer breakdown: Among the reviewers, 29% were small businesses, 26% were midsize businesses, and 45% were large businesses. 

2. GoSkills

GoSkills is a learning platform for business and educational institutions. It offers the ability to create courses via its built-in library of resources, or by embedding tutorial videos and links to external resources. It also offers an authoring tool for designing and creating custom content.

The lesson player in GoSkills

The lesson player in GoSkills

Following are some of the tool’s highlights:

  • Course library with over 70 business courses on topics like Six Sigma, project management, Microsoft Excel, and design.

  • Certifications from professional bodies such as the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) and Project Management Institute.

  • Bite-sized lesson format that breaks down topics into videos of three to five minutes, each followed by a short quiz on the learnings.

  • Multi-level reporting to track metrics such as course completions, tests taken, certificates earned, etc.

Integrations:

GoSkills works as a standalone tool and does not provide integrations with third-party tools.  

Pricing and use cases:

Plan Use case
Free Small businesses or educational institutions that need a tool to distribute their own material.
$3/user/moth Midsize businesses or educational institutions that want to customize materials to their branding and training needs, as well as create courses from scratch.
$39/month Businesses or educational institutions of all sizes that are looking for structural training material without investing time in creating them from scratch.
Custom pricing Large businesses, enterprises, or educational institutions that need to meet specific requirements.

Prominent customer reviews:

Reviewers of GoSkills on GetApp share the following feedback:

Pros Cons
The tool is user friendly, with a short learning curve. The course materials in the pre-prepared courses are detailed, relevant to working professionals, and in easily-consumable formats. Playing training videos on Apple devices can sometimes have glitches like lack of sync in audio. The quizzes and assessments sometimes tend to be on the easier end; they need to be more complex to rigorously test learners.

Reviewer breakdown: Among the reviewers, 47% were small businesses, 20% were midsize businesses, and 33% were large businesses. 

3. Tovuti

Tovuti is a learning platform that combines online learning with functions of virtual meeting and virtual event management. This enables businesses and educational institutions to bring together their L&D activities and training sessions into one tool, create the courses they need, leverage pre-existing course material, or deliver live training sessions. 

Interactive content options in Tovuti

Interactive content options in Tovuti

Some of the tool’s highlights include:

  • Checklist-based system that presents learners with a to-do list of activities.

  • Leadership board that highlights the top-performing members on the home dashboard, nudging healthy competition between users.

  • Event and classroom features that enable conducting live training much like an online meeting held on a virtual meeting system.

  • Embedding quizzes in videos to prompt learners to answer questions, thus increasing engagement and retention.

Integrations:

Tovuti provides integrations via its own built-in Marketplace as well as via the automation platform Zapier. It also provides an Open API for the tech-savvy users who want to build their own integrations. 

Pricing and use cases:

Tovuti does not provide the price on their website. Instead, it provides businesses with quotes based on their needs. 

Plan Use case
Core Small and midsize businesses or educational institutions that need a tool to create and distribute their own material.
Pro Small and midsize businesses or educational institutions that want to utilize pre-prepared training material as well as create and distribute their own content.
à la carte Large businesses, enterprises, or educational institutions that want to create a branded training center.

Prominent customer reviews:

Reviewers of Tovuti on GetApp share the following feedback:

Pros Cons
The branding elements allow users to create a personalized L&D experience. Users also appreciate the interactive elements, such as quizzes and surveys, that help improve engagement. The reporting functionality does not provide detailed granular insights and can feel limiting to those who want a question-wise performance breakdown. The learning curve for the admin controls can also be steep.

Reviewer breakdown: Among the reviewers, 81% were small businesses, 16% were midsize businesses, and 3% were large businesses. 

4. SkyPrep

SkyPrep is an e-learning platform that helps businesses and educational institutions create and distribute L&D material as well as test users for retention. The tool also provides automated grading and real-time progress reports to help track user engagement.

User group hierarchy in SkyPrep

User group hierarchy in SkyPrep

Following are some of the tool’s highlights:

  • Support for multiple types of files, including PDF, rich HTML, or videos.

  • Customizable URL, email notifications, and certificates.

  • Leaderboards and customizable badges that highlight employees who are performing well.

  • Access to pre-prepared course material via OpenSesame that eliminates the need to create content from scratch.

Integrations:

SkyPrep provides built-in integrations with various third-party tools for document management, online meetings, social media, and eCommerce. It also offers an Open API for tech-savvy users who want to build their own integrations.

Pricing and use cases:

Plan Use case
$199/month Midsize businesses or educational institutions that typically have to train a few dozen users and want custom branded L&D material.
$499/month Large businesses or educational institutions that have to train over 100 users and need advanced reporting, open API, and gamification.
Custom Enterprises that have to train over 1,000 users. The plan offers the option to add hundreds of users while retaining the features offered in the $499/month plan.

Prominent customer reviews:

Reviewers of SkyPrep on GetApp share the following feedback:

Pros Cons
The tool is user friendly for both administrators and learners. The custom branding makes it easier for businesses to add a personal touch to the L&D material, as opposed to feeling the constant presence of a third-party system. The reporting function needs more granular insights that can help assess an individual’s performance. The instructor-led courses can be more complicated to set up in comparison to self-sufficient training sessions.

Reviewer breakdown: Among the reviewers, 55% were small businesses, 23% were midsize businesses and 22% were large businesses. 

5. LearnUpon LMS

LearnUpon LMS is a learning portal geared toward businesses that want to provide training and L&D for their employees. The tool can be used for employee training on skills, compliance training, or partner training. It can also be used by educators to create content for digital learning, or by content creators who want to sell course content online.

Drag-and-drop interface to create a user’s experience in LearnUpon LMS

Drag-and-drop interface to create a user’s experience in LearnUpon LMS

Some of the tool’s highlights include:

  • Social learning that encourages users to communicate with each other and share knowledge via built-in forums.

  • White-labeled dashboard and certificates that can be modified to reflect your branding.

  • Branded storefronts to sell courses online.

  • Multi-level reporting to help derive insights on each user. 

Integrations:

LearnUpon LMS provides built-in integrations with various third-party tools for document management, customer relationship management (CRM), eCommerce, calendar management, and web conferencing. The tool also offers integrations via Zapier and an Open API for tech-savvy users who want to build their own integrations.

Pricing and use cases:

Plan Use case
$599/month Small businesses or educational institutions that want to cater to less than 50 users.
$999/month Midsize businesses that want to cater to up to 250 users or educators/content creators who want to sell courses online.
$1,699/month Large businesses or educational institutions that want to cater to up to 500 users and need integrations.
Custom Enterprises or large educational institutions that want to cater to over 500 users.

Prominent customer reviews:

Reviewers of LearnUpon LMS on GetApp share the following feedback:

Pros Cons
The tool has a short learning curve and navigation is easy. Course material can be easily branded and the elements such as quizzes and prompts help improve user engagement. Setting up multi-level reporting can be complicated, especially when there is a large number of users. Some reviewers also find the capabilities of the “manager” level users limited.

Reviewer breakdown: Among the reviewers, 70% were small businesses, 21% were midsize businesses and 9% were large businesses. 

Comparison of the top 5 LMS solutions

Find a detailed comparison of the top five LMS solutions here.

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Finding the right LMS solution — how to identify your needs?

Now that you have a good understanding of LMS solutions and what the top tools have to offer, you might be considering implementing it. But know that features, integrations, and security measures aren’t the only things to look out for—nor do they end at just what we have mentioned. 

It is important to understand what type of buyer you are. Buyers of LMS solutions fall in the following categories:

  • Small or midsize businesses: Such buyers typically have small budgets and can not always afford to develop course content, hire specialized instructors, or manually track compliance training. They need a tool that can not only help them organize training and L&D related data but also provide pre-prepared courses that can be distributed to employees.

  • Large businesses or enterprises: Such buyers typically have special L&D budgets and need to train their workforce in niche areas. They also need help with onboarding and continuing education. A solution that provides a combination of custom and pre-existing training material and enables custom branding resources is a good option for such buyers.

  • Educational institutions: Such buyers typically need to provide classroom-style learning to students online. They need to allow students to access course material and communicate with instructors and their peers outside the class. Hence, they should explore tools that offer social learning, as well as a video conferencing or live broadcast option. 

If you want to accelerate your product search, try the compare buttons beside each product in our software directory. This will eliminate all non-specific options and enable you to compare up to four products side-by-side to see which is the right one for you. 

Notes

For the "user feedback trends (pros/cons)" sections, we performed sentiment analysis of reviews left for each product in the 12 months previous to the creation of this report. Reviews data may have changed since publication and may not reflect current conditions.

Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, GetApp or its affiliates.

Some applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

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